Buffalo Falls in Overtime, 5-4

Buffalo Jr. Sabres forward Brenden Dunning notched three points as the team fell to the Milton Icehawks by a score of 5-4 in double overtime on September 7.

The night started off with chippy play on both ends, which eventually proved fruitful for the Jr. Sabres. Buffalo took an early lead just under four minutes into the first period on Brenden Dunning’s first goal of the season. Zach Evancho and Christian DiFelice tallied the assists.

Less than three minutes later, however, Milton’s Jeff Lindsay tied things up on the team’s third shot of the night. The Icehawks would add another goal – this one by Chris Cobham – to take their first lead of the evening.

Just 1:16 after Milton’s go-ahead tally, the Jr. Sabres would tie things up, this time on a goal by Christian Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s first of the season was assisted by Nicholas Bondra and Andrew Pizzo.

A scrum would result in the first penalties of the night, with Buffalo’s Evan Bennett and Milton’s Chris Martin each served two for holding. Buffalo’s Dunning also got two minutes for slashing, giving Milton a resulting power play.

It was Philip Lagunov who would take advantage of the extra man for Milton, scoring at the 12:43 mark to give them the lead. Chris Cobham and Sean Perichak tallied the assists.

Milton’s Brett Markham was then served a tripping penalty a short time later, but it would prove unfruitful for the Jr. Sabres. The teams would head to the locker room with the score 3-2 Milton after 20 minutes, with shots 15-4 in favor of Buffalo.

The second period started off with a bang for the Jr. Sabres, as Zach Evancho scored just 52 seconds in to tie the game at three apiece. Brenden Dunning and Wilson Vershay tallied helpers on the tying goal.

An otherwise calm middle frame was sprinkled with a trio of penalties, as Milton’s Anthony Baxter (interference), Brandon Sabatini (slashing) and Cobham (double minor – high sticking) would all head to the box at one point. The Jr. Sabres were ultimately unable to take advantage of the power play opportunities, and teams left the ice tied at 3 after 40 minutes, with the shots 25-5.

Heading into the final 20 all tied up, things started off relatively calm. Cobham notched a go-ahead goal at the 9:35 mark, and for a while, it seemed like that would spell the end of the night. Buffalo was unable to score on two power-plays, including a cross-checking minor to Josh Chiarot (14:17) and a hooking minor to Cobham.

However, some hard work on that Cobham penalty lead to a thrilling tying goal by the Jr. Sabres just one second after he stepped out of the box. With just 33 seconds left in regulation, Buffalo’s Dunning notched his second goal – third point – of the night to tie the game at 4 apiece and send this one to overtime! Chris Berger tallied an assist.

After five minutes of four-on-four action and no results, the teams hit the ice to play three-on-three.¬†With one minute left on the clock, Milton’s Anthony Baxter slapped home the game-winning goal, giving the Icehawks a 5-4 victory.

Chris Cobham led all skaters with four points (2-2) and six penalty minutes on the night, while Brenden Dunning led the Jr. Sabres with a three-point night. Marcus Semiao had 33 saves on 37 shots for the Icehawks, while Buffalo’s Tucker Weppner stopped 19 of 24 shots faced.

The Jr. Sabres’ next game is Wednesday, Sept. 9 against the Burlington Cougars. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. at HARBORCENTER.